UK Students Participate in Seminar at Disney

LEXINGTON, KY (Nov. 15, 2017) — Securing a summer internship is an increasingly important prerequisite for obtaining post-college employment. Six University of Kentucky juniors are well on their way to ensuring they meet that qualification.

The students recently attended an intensive two-day seminar at Disney where they sharpened their analytical skills and had the opportunity to interview with nearly 50 different companies, including Google, Goldman Sachs and PepsiCo. Two of the students have already landed their summer internships.

During the seminar, which included participants from around the country, UK students said they were able to utilize strategies like the STAR method during interviews. Khalil Appleton, an electrical engineering major, explained “Situation, task, action and result — it keeps you going on the right track, and you can use it for any type of interview.” Appleton has secured a summer internship with Deloitte.

Appleton is part of UK’s first-ever cohort admitted to Management Leadership for Tomorrow's (MLT) Career Prep program. MLT is a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring high-achieving African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans are career-ready and have top job opportunities when they graduate.

MLT provides key skills, one-on-one coaching and door-opening relationships. “Through professional development, these students will be given the 'playbook' required to become transformative leaders in a global society," said Sonja Feist-Price, UK vice president for institutional diversity.

Computer science major Najika Halsema, who interviewed with several companies, says she has learned that being self-assured is one key tool she uses during the process. She advised students not to sell themselves short, “Just put your best foot forward and make sure that you are confident.” She added “even if you don’t believe it at times because that is the one thing that is either going to make or break a potential offer.”

The six UK juniors admitted to MLT’s Career Prep program are:

  • Siera Arena, finance and accounting;
  • Ta'Neile Simmons, merchandising, apparel and textiles; 
  • Khalil Appleton, electrical engineering;
  • Kayla Walls, merchandising, apparel and textiles;
  • Mohanad Abdallah, electrical engineering; and 
  • Najika Halsema, computer science.

About MLT

MLT equips African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans with the skills, coaching and connections they need to lead organizations and communities worldwide. The program propels its rising leaders at all stages: from college to a first job. More than 100 partners — corporations, social enterprises and universities — amplify the program's efforts and rely on it for top talent and data-driven insights into expanding their diverse leadership pipelines. Learn more about MLT at or by following MLT on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Students at Disney
(Left to right) Mohanad Abdallah, Ta’Neile Simmons, Najika Halsema, Siera Arena, Khalil Appleton and Kayla Walls are juniors at UK.